Does a Ketogenic diet lowers or increases your cholesterol

Why do people start dieting and watching for their health? Because they want to be healthy, am I wrong? And why do people want to be healthy? Well, why wouldn’t they? So why cholesterol?
Well, using the 2,596,993 deaths reported in the united states in 2013, the CDC conducted an analysis to find out the leading causes of death, amongst which we can find “Heart disease” on the very top, followed by strokes and diabetes a few places below. And turns out cholesterol is and has been tightly related to these diseases. Therefore is not insane to keep in mind your cholesterol while chasing health. And Diet is often times the easiest, most noninvasive and safer way to start. But with so much fat consumption, can the ketogenic diet lower cholesterol?

Why does cholesterol level increases?

Well, despite the fact that our dietary intake of cholesterol barely influences the total amount of cholesterol, it does count, if you add this to the fact that our bodies make around 2000mg of cholesterol a day (Because we need cholesterol), also take in consideration that a sedentary life doesn’t promote the use of our resources it starts to accumulate (Actually, this happens to everything, not just cholesterol; if you don’t use something and instead of promoting the usage, you keep storing, what happens? It accumulates). So cholesterol increases basically due to three factors: a) You’re making it, b) You’re consuming it) and c) You’re not using it.

As consequence of this we can picture two scenarios:

  • You cut down on cholesterol via lowering fat consumption, and start exercising.
  • You don’t cut down on fat consumption and start exercising.

On the first scenario, the cholesterol you make does not change, but the other factors do, this in term helps you lower your cholesterol.

On the second scenario, the cholesterol you make tunes down (adjusts) because you consume some for your needs, and you start using it.

Both scenarios result in a lower cholesterol, but whether the first or the second is a healthier choice is still on the table due to the lack of scientific evidence.

A ketogenic diet increases cholesterol

Yes, a high fat consumption will increase your cholesterol, but it will mainly influence your HDL (also known as good cholesterol), as for your LDL, it may or may not increase in quantity, but will increase in particle size, and that is actually healthier. Ketogenic diet to lower cholesterol

Ok, I just told you it may increase but that is not necessarily bad. But you are still hung up on the numbers, right? Why wouldn’t you be? Maybe even your physician is telling you to lower them. Don’t worry, because you can tune down those numbers even while eating high fat. How? It all comes down to your food choices. Healthier food choices will positively influence your cholesterol levels, whether you choose healthier meats or healthier vegetables, it will benefit you.

WARNING/TIP: You may have increased cholesterol if it runs in your family, it’s called hypercholesterolemia, if you do, the following approach will probably not be enough to help you. Also, there is a chance that your lipid numbers increase due to losing weight because you are “mobilizing” your fat.

Adjust the ketogenic diet, adjust your cholesterol

The first thing you have to know is that saturated fats are sometimes linked to HDL and LDL increase. The second is that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are linked to an LDL decrease but not necessarily an HDL decrease. So how are you going to adjust your diet? Easy, by removing some saturated fats (perhaps not completely) and using mono and polyunsaturated fats instead.

Quick example: If you cook with butter, try cooking with olive oil. Better yet, have your meat roasted with its own fat and add avocado as your fat intake.

Sounds simple, right? It is, and the best part, it works.